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Navy to review Chief Edward Gallagher's fitness to serve, New York Times reports

Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 20:37:36-05

(KGTV) — Days after President Trump restored Navy Chief Edward Gallagher's rank after he was convicted of posing with a dead Islamic State captive, Navy officials reportedly intend to review his fitness to serve.

According to the New York Times, Navy officials have ordered Gallagher to be appear before leaders Wednesday where they will review his ability to remain a Navy SEAL.

The Navy will reportedly also review three SEAL officers who oversaw Gallagher: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch, Lt. Jacob Portier and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.

“We have implemented the President’s order to restore Chief Gallagher’s paygrade,” Captain Tamara Lawrence, a spokesperson for Navy Special Warfare Command, told CNN. She added that Rear Adm. Collin Green, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, “is responsible for the Naval Special Warfare Force. He remains focused on delivering a capable, ready, and lethal maritime special operations force in support of national security objectives, which includes assessing the suitability of any member of his Force via administrative processes.”

RELATED: Trump restores rank of San Diego Navy SEAL following war crimes case

The review could lead to the Navy taking away Gallagher's Trident pin, a symbol of his membership in the SEALs — effectively ousting him from the elite force.

Last week, President Trump granted clemency to Gallagher saying in part: "Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The President's move came after Gallagher was acquitted of six of seven charges related to accusation of murdering a wounded ISIS teenager and shooting at Iraqi civilians.

Gallagher was convicted of posing with the dead teenager's body in a photograph, which could have led to a demotion and him losing $200,000 when he retired due to his lower rank.

According to the New York Times, a SEAL's Trident can be taken away if a commander loses, "'faith and confidence in the service member's ability to exercise sound judgment, reliability, and personal conduct.'"

Since 2011 the Navy has removed 154 Tridents, NYT reports.